Gull programme

The increase in urban gull populations is a national problem and many of the councils along the Severn Estuary have experienced increased numbers of gulls nesting and breeding on roofs in their area.

Natural England only issue licenses to allow interference with nests and eggs in very specific situations. The person applying for the license must be able to demonstrate that action is needed to preserve public health or public safety. 

What you can do about seagulls nesting on your property 

If the gulls on your property are posing public health or public safety concerns you may be eligible for a general license which allows an owner, occupier or authorised person to take, damage or destroy nests, take eggs or kill birds in accordance with the requirements and conditions set out in the licence. A possible risk to health and safety might be birds nesting on or over a boiler ventilation flue resulting in a build-up of noxious fumes.  

A license won’t be granted for problems involving bird noise, fouling and property damage.  

The responsibility and cost for resolving any gull problem lie with the owner or occupier of an affected building.  

Deterrence is the accepted and appropriate solution to long term non lethal control. 

We strongly urge all owners or occupiers of buildings that have or may attract roof-nesting gulls to add deterrent measures suitable to the individual building. Please refer Natural England’s approach to large gull licensing in urban areas in 2021.

Problems Caused by Seagulls 

Seagulls, or Herring Gulls and Lesser black backed Gulls as we have in Gloucester are protected by law. Therefore, it is illegal to injure the birds, eggs, and their nests without consent from Natural England. 

Changes to licensing of the lethal control of herring gull and lesser black-backed gull